Queen's University

Two Queen's experts comment on the "skinny" shirt being pulled from the Hudson's Bay Company shelves

2014-06-25

Queen’s University marketing professors Tandy Thomas and Kenneth Wong are available to comment on the Hudson’s Bay Company pulling a controversial t-shirt from its stores.

"One of the hallmarks of great marketing is when there is concurrence between what you mean to say and what people hear‎. While I am certain the Kate Moss shirt was NOT intended to make a statement favoring eating disorders - in fact, I believe it was made to comment on why dieting is not a challenge for her - it was taken that way...and that is all that matters," says Professor Wong. "The Bay couldn't take the chance given their target market and I am sure someone in their buying department has learned a lesson here. That said, for a store catering to an edgier clietele who might be looking for clothes that cause controversy it might have been a perfectly appropriate product to sell, at least in a commercial sense (moral judgements are personal)."

The shirt includes a nutrition label featuring the quote made famous by Kate Moss: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

“Social media is giving consumers an unprecedented level of power to influence the actions of companies, like HBC and the pulling of the Kate Moss 'skinny shirt,' sasy Dr. Thomas. "The concerns raised by consumers through these channels has forced companies to think through the broader implications of their actions and their products.”

Many shoppers were outraged as they consider the quote to promote eating disorders and took to Twitter using the hashtags #NotBuyingIt and #YoureFired.

Please note that Professor Wong is only available for phone interviews.

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Last updated at 2:22 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
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